This unit develops concepts of energy and electricity through engineering design of circuits controlled by hidden switches. Opening or closing a box or card triggers lights and sounds, and sets color wheels and vibrators in motion. Students first learn to connect lights and buzzers to batteries, and then to control these circuits with homemade switches. To understand and troubleshoot their circuits, they develop strategies for making diagrams using standard symbols that everyone in the class can agree on. Subsequently, they add motors to their circuits and investigate series and parallel connections. Students use what they have learned to create their own “ElectroCities” – scenes that tell stories using circuits to provide light, sound and motion effects. They then make and use hidden switches, which turn circuits on or off when a lid or page is opened or closed. Magnets and Infrared remotes are introduced as ways of operating a switch at a distance. Students also learn to make noisemakers, vibrators, and fluorescent displays. Finally, students create automatic ElectroCities using any of the devices they have explored.

ElectroCity Curriculum

ElectroCity 2014.docx